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Management of Marijuana Operation Changes Hands

May 24, 2017 - 8:30pm

A Canadian-backed firm will take over management of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, one of Florida's seven medical marijuana operators, the companies announced Wednesday.

The deal involving Aphria Inc., a marijuana grower and processor based in Ontario, and Chestnut Hill comes on the verge of a massive expansion of Florida's medical-marijuana market, sparked by a November constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical pot.

Judge Backs Two More Marijuana Licenses

May 23, 2017 - 8:15pm

In a long-awaited decision, an administrative law judge Tuesday called for the state to issue two new licenses to medical marijuana operators, saying competing businesses --- which lost out to another operator selected by Florida health officials in 2015 --- were virtually tied.

Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham's recommended order came months after a hearing in the matter and long after he decided that the winning licensee, Alpha Foliage, known as Surterra Therapeutics, should have been ineligible to apply for a license because of changes in ownership.

High Court Says No to Slot Machines

May 18, 2017 - 5:15pm

In a highly anticipated decision, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday squashed a broad expansion of slot machines in at least eight counties, saying the decision to allow pari-mutuels to add the lucrative games rests with the Legislature, not voters.

Defiant Medical Marijuana Vendor Is Selling the Smokeable Product

May 10, 2017 - 6:00pm

Even while Florida lawmakers have insisted they do not want patients to smoke pot, one of the state's seven licensed medical-marijuana vendors on Tuesday began selling whole-flower cannabis.

House, Senate Moving Closer on Medical Marijuana Plan

April 28, 2017 - 8:45pm

Eligible patients would not have to wait 90 days to get medical marijuana if doctors recommend the treatment, under a compromise measure ready for a House vote just days before next Friday's end of the annual legislative session.

The measure, proposed by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, brings the House closer in line with the Senate's approach to carrying out a November constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for patients with a broad swath of debilitating medical conditions.

Senate Sticks to Its Guns to Expand Gambling to Eight Counties

April 27, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Seminole Tribe would not be required to guarantee $3 billion in payments to the state in exchange for adding craps and roulette to the tribe's casino operations, under the latest offer in gambling negotiations between the House and Senate.

Lawmakers Move Closer to Gambling Deal

April 26, 2017 - 6:15pm
Jose Felix Diaz and Bill Galvano

After years of stalemate, House and Senate leaders appear to be closing in on a deal to revamp Florida's gambling industry and strike an agreement with the Seminole Tribe in what could be a considerable expansion of gambling throughout the state.

The House made what Sen. Bill Galvano, the Senate's chief negotiator on gambling issues, called a "substantial offer" Wednesday morning. The proposal moved toward the Senate's pari-mutuel industry friendly plan, as the May 5 end of the legislative session nears.

Ayala Continues Battling Scott over Removal

April 10, 2017 - 5:30pm

Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala is pushing forward with a challenge to Gov. Rick Scott's removal of her from 22 death penalty cases, including a high-profile case involving accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd.

'Humble' Lawson Formally Joins Supreme Court

April 5, 2017 - 8:00pm
Judge C. Alan Lawson

Hailed as "a judge's judge," C. Alan Lawson was formally sworn in Wednesday as a member of the Florida Supreme Court in a ceremony marked by high praise for Gov. Rick Scott's first appointee to the seven-member panel.

Court Ruling Could Boost South Florida Gambling

April 4, 2017 - 3:30pm

In a decision that opens the door for a poker room in downtown Miami --- and possibly others throughout South Florida --- an appeals court on Tuesday decided that gambling regulators were wrong to deny a new pari-mutuel permit to a Miami operator.

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